Last years disappointing season did grant the Mets one benefit. They have the number 7 selection in the First Round of the up coming draft.
While not as popular as the football or basketball drafts, the baseball draft has begun to be televised recently, beginning in 2007. One of the reasons for this is the time it takes players to make the majors, even first rounders. Many don’t make it at all. Unlike the other drafts, where those players often step right in to starting lineups in the NFL or NBA.
Also, the Baseball draft lasts 50 rounds, as opposed to two in the NBA and seven in the NFL.
The Mets have been hit or miss with past First Round selections. The most recent First Rounder the Mets had was in 2008 and it looks like a hit, Ike Davis. To show how hit or miss the draft can be, the previous years First Round selections have pitched just 2.2 innings in the majors. Eddie Kunz is at AA, and Nathan Vineyard is out of the game. Yeah, I never heard of them either and the Vineyard story is a sadly disappointing story.
First Rounders from the last decade that are currently on the Mets are Mike Pelfrey (2005) and David Wright (2001). Others the Mets drafted that have past through NY, but are no longer there are, Lastings MIlledge (2003) [Pittsburgh Pirates], Scott Kazmir (2002) [Angels of Anaheim] and Aaron Heilman (2001) [Arizona Diamondbacks].
The 1990s were bad for the Mets, not one First Rounder accomplished diddly for the Mets. Among those that are at least recognizable are Paul Wilson (#1 overall, 1994); Jay Payton (1994); Bobby Jones (1991) and Jeromy Burnitz (1990).
The 80s had the biggest hits and misses (as well as biggest might-have-beens); Darryl Strawberry (#1 overall, 1980) and Dwight Gooden (1982). Gregg Jefferies (1985) and Calvin Schiraldi (1983) are among the other best well known Mets First Rounders of the decade, although Schiraldi is known more for what he did AGAINST the Mets. Some of the misses include Shawn Abner (#1 overall, 1984); Chris Donnels (1987) and Billy Beane (1980). Yes, that Billy Beane, the GM of the Oakland A’s and the subject of Moneyball. Think what the Mets could do with a GM of that calibre with the payroll they have.
The 70s produced some of the more popular players in Mets history who played on some very bad teams. Lee Mazzilli (1973); Wally Backman (1977) and Hubie Brooks (1978).
If interested, here is the complete list of Mets First Rounders.
One player the Mets won’t have a chance for is Bryce Harper, the consensus number 1 pick will go to the Washington Nationals again. Last years pick Stephen Strasburg appears to be a home run pick, and this years pick is supposed to be even more of a sure thing.